Buttered Chai Latte

IMG_5597

Last week we had some unseasonably cold weather here in Salt Lake.  If only it would’ve lasted a wee bit longer!  Like maybe for the rest of the summer?  I enjoy the activities summer brings, but could we turn down the heat a little?  I don’t enjoy sweating unless I’m burning some serious calories.  I don’t think loading the kids into the car technically counts as cardio, but on a hot day it sure feels like it.  Louis CK has a bit about white people not being from Earth because we’re not comfortable here.  He explains that if we really belonged here we would be comfortable with the temperatures we’re always complaining about.  I totally agree and am simply waiting for my mothership to return me to my completely temperate planet.

Anyway.  On those rare and lovely cool summer days, a hot beverage sounds so refreshing.  That, and watching Harry Potter.  There can be one itty bitty rain cloud in the sky and instantly my thoughts turn to horcruxes and Diagon Alley.  Nerd alert!  When it comes to hot drinks, I generally drink my coffee with butter and coconut oil.  Have you tried this yet?  It sounds wrong at first, I remember feeling that way too.  But now that I’m used to it, it tastes so much better than creamer!  And it’s better for you too, in my opinion.  For more information about the health benefits of butter in your coffee, go here: https://www.bulletproofexec.com/how-to-make-your-coffee-bulletproof-and-your-morning-too/

In this vein, I have created buttered Chai.  It’s so heavenly I find myself craving it even on hot days.  You still have the wonderful creamy taste of butter and coconut oil, all the healthy fat benefits, but with the sweet spiciness of Chai.  If Chai isn’t your thing, Earl Grey makes a delicious substitute.  Any tea you want, really.  Get crazy.

I know the moderate temperatures won’t be back any time soon.  I would have to live somewhere lovely and insanely expensive to expect that (sigh, San Diego).  And now that the temps are in the high 90’s once again, I’m drinking this iced.  Take that, sun!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Chai tea bag
  • 1 c filtered water
  • 1 Tbsp ghee or unsalted pasture butter
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 3 Tbsp canned light coconut milk

Steep tea bag in the boiled filtered water for five minutes.  Place tea in blender, or wide mouth mason jar if using an immersion blender.  Add the rest of the ingredients and blend for 1 minute.  Allow to cool first if adding ice.

IMG_5585

 

 

Cranberry Apple Cider Vinegar Detox

IMG_5680

Does blogging in your workout gear count as exercise?  I kind of feel like it does.  The intent is there, isn’t that what matters?  Plus strong fingers are extremely important these days!  How else am I going to ‘like’ my neighbor from third grade’s Facebook review of The Expendables 3?  Just recently, while complaining about my slooooow progress in the weight loss department, it occurred to me I haven’t really been…exercising much…at all.  I guess I was just kind of hoping a burning desire and a healthy diet would be enough.  My regular brain knows better, of course.  But my seemingly permanent post-baby brain fog sometimes hides the facts from me.  So I’ve started exercising daily (or as close to that as I can get).  It isn’t always easy to find the time with two kids, but I sneak it in whenever I can.  Luckily, babies enjoy napping at least occasionally and preschoolers can be distracted by a little QT with Jake and his Neverland pirates.  I must say I feel much better since I’ve been exercising.  I feel stronger.  I feel like I’m doing something for myself.  That can do wonders for your mood!  My kids deserve a happy mom, and I deserve some sweaty ‘me time’.  I’ll remind myself of that the next time I’m cursing Tracy Anderson, damn her eyes!

So let’s talk about detoxing, shall we?  It seems to be a popular enough concept.  While at a visit to a Naturopath recently, it was suggested that I do some liver detoxing.  I don’t have a lot of intimate personal knowledge of my liver, but I appreciate its efforts and will gladly do what I can to increase its efficacy.  The Naturopath suggested I drink a mix of apple cider vinegar and cranberry juice.  I already drink apple cider vinegar on a pretty regular basis, so all that was needed was a little tweaking of the recipe.  Organic raw apple cider vinegar is said to have many health benefits, including; weight control, immune system support, muscle pain relief, maintaining healthy skin, soothing dry throats, removing body toxins, etc.  Personally, I’ve found it to be extremely helpful with acid reflux.  I started drinking it during my recent pregnancy for that reason and haven’t had any reason to stop.  I make a large drink in the morning, and drink it throughout the day.  I’ve found it inhibits hunger if I drink it before meals.  It’s on the sour side, but I don’t mind it.  You can add some Stevia or honey if you simply must have it sweeter.  I’m not sure what effects my liver is experiencing, but it’s worth a shot!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c Pineapple juice
  • 1/4 c pure cranberry juice
  • 2 Tbsp organic raw apple cider vinegar (I use Braggs)
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • Filtered water

Put the juices, vinegar and cinnamon in a quart sized mason jar, then fill to the top with filtered water.  Put the lid on, give it a good shake, and it’s ready to go.  It can be sipped with a straw or transferred to a more portable receptacle.

IMG_5686

Here’s to your liver!

 

Chocolate Coconut Lime Cups

IMG_5524

Remember that time a month or so ago when we all thought we’d never enjoy the sour bite of a juicy lime again?  When, due to weather issues and a lime disease (not to be confused with Lyme Disease), the cost of limes quintupled in less than a year?  And then the Mexican drug cartels got in on it!?  You know when drug lords start dabbling in the fruit trade that something is amiss.  This news was particularly troubling to me, as I like a little bit of lime juice on practically everything.  (Full disclosure, I say the same thing about egg yolks, cinnamon, and avocado to name a few.)  Some people were okay with switching to lemons for all their citrus needs.  Not me.  Lemons have their place, and that place is not being lovingly squeezed onto my tacos.  People from outside of Utah are probably not aware of this, but in this great and strange state ‘squoze’ is considered by many to be the past tense form of squeeze.  As in, ‘I was so happy to see my ninth child born, I nearly squoze the life out of him’.  Go figure.

But fear not, lime lovers.  The price of limes has returned to near normal levels.  One no longer needs to sell one’s organs on the black market in order to buy a case of these green lovelies.  To celebrate, I created the following limey recipe.  I wanted it to be reminiscent of a lemon bar, but with chocolate.  And slightly like ice cream.  The idea was complicated, and I wasn’t sure if it was going to work.  That’s when a delicious outcome is most appreciated.  If it was too easy, where would the fun be in that?  The result was simply dreamy!  I don’t know if you’ve used coconut butter much, but it is a tad addictive.  Be warned.  You can usually find it in the nut butter section of most health food stores.  I found mine at Sprouts.  It’s a little pricey, but you’re not using a ton of it in this recipe.  You can also make your own by blending unsweetened coconut flakes in a blender or food processor for a long time.  You get to decide how dedicated you are in this situation.

The coconut butter gives the chocolate layer a really rich flavor.  The crisp chocolate is a nice contrast to the soft crust layer and the ice creamy top layer.  The bottom is sweet, the middle is a little salty, and the top is tart.  Layers!  Complexity!  It’s everything you hate in a relationship, but love in a dessert.

Yield: 6 servings

Chocolate Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c Coconut butter
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut oil
  • 1/4 c Cacao or cocoa
  • 1/4 c Honey

Crust Layer Ingredients:

  • 1/4 c Almonds
  • 1/4 c Cashews
  • 1/4 c Coconut flakes
  • 1/4 tsp Lime zest
  • 2 tsp Coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp Honey
  • Juice of 1/2 Lime
  • 1 Date (softened in hot water)
  • Pinch of Salt

Lime Cream Layer:

  • 1/4 c Coconut cream
  • 2 Tbsp Lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp Honey
  • 1/2 tsp Lime zest

To start, you will need to make the chocolate base.  If you want, you can melt a chocolate of your choice.  That would be the easy way to do it.  But then you wouldn’t be as impressed with yourself, right?  Take the coconut butter and coconut oil and melt them in a saucepan or in the microwave.  Once they are melted, add the cacao and sweetener.  I used honey, but agave or maple syrup would work too.  Once the ingredients are mixed, pour the chocolate into a greased cupcake tin.  Place this in the freezer for a few minutes.  You just want the chocolate to set up a little before you put the next layer on.

IMG_5503

In a blender or food processor, add all of the Crust Layer ingredients.  Blend until the mixture is finely textured and starts to get sticky.  Once the chocolate layer begins to set up, you are safe to add the crust layer to it.  Place back in the freezer while you’re working on the next layer.

IMG_5512

Next, put all of the Lime Cream Layer ingredients into a blender or food processor.  Blend until creamy.  Pour on top of the crust layer.  I put a small amount of coconut flakes on top.  Mostly for fanciness. Place in the freezer for about 30 minutes and they are ready to devour.  These should be stored in the fridge when you aren’t gorging yourself on them.  They are perfect on a hot day!

Enjoy!